US Airways Air Fares

Originated on January 20, 2010

On January 20, 2010, I searched for flights to London from Pittsburgh using US Airways’ website. You can search for flights based on their current schedule or with the low fare finder. I did this both ways using the same travel dates. Using the low fare finder shows the cost for the dates you selected and a few days before and after. Should you select your dates or pick alternative dates you can then proceed to selecting flights. This is where it gets interesting but more on this in a moment. I then searched using the schedule option. The results of my input showed a list of different departure dates and return dates. All flights had an associated cost and there were many variations. At no time did the sum of any departure and return match the low fare finer price.

Now, back to the low fare finder option. If you select a price under this option you can then proceed to selecting flights. This brings you to the same schedule page, which is the other option. But some of the flights showed a different price than when view originally. And to repeat myself, no combination of departure and return equaled the original low fare finder price. No combination offered a lower price either. My question to US Airways is how can you offer a price but not a flight to go with it?

In 2008 when making reservations I selected a price and a flight combination, but it changed when I went to the next page to confirm. When I backed-up to re-select it the price was different from the first. When I called a reservationist on the phone she could not find my first price; which was the lowest offered. She was able to give me an in-between price so I booked on the phone. They keep telling be that the price is driven by supply and demand but having prices change in the blink of an eye is unbelievable.

Don’t assume a US Airways reservationist can offer what you see on there website. I like dealing with them as they can help you in the process. Yes, they can beat some prices you may see on the web but there is no guarantee that they have the lowest price of the day. Talking to a live representative can be helpful in dealing with scheduling as well. All flights have a schedule based on a number of factors and they never are based on your convenience. Take a close look at the schedule if you require a change of planes along your route. Just because you land on time does not mean that you will make the next flight. The scenario exist having you land and retrieving your bags only to then go through security before boarding your flight in another part of the terminal. Throw in a visit to Customs and Immigration and you may not have the time needed to make the flight. I have seen schedules giving one and a half hours between planes on international flights. I would be hesitant in selecting flights giving me this short amount of time.